2

In 2001, we can see at the end of the movie the star child floating near Earth. But what always bugged me is its size, it's basically as big as the planet. Is that an effect of perspective or is he really the size of Earth ?

Well even if his size was actually normal, how could he come back to Earth ? He would for sure be burned while entering the atmosphere, not even talking about the deadly fall if he somehow survives this.

8

You are making the mistake of assuming the Starchild is a physical entity.

The Starchild, as shown on screen, is a cinematic representation of the consciousness of Dave Bowman. His consciousness was drawn into the TMA-2 monolith at the "My God, it's full of stars" moment.

Bowman is effectively reborn within the monolith and looks over mankind. The image of the Starchild symbolizes this rebirth. Much as the previous few minutes of the film symbolize the absorbtion and the initial communication with the beings that created the monoliths.

Of course, the ability of the monolith to draw upon the knowledge of Bowman leads to the events of the subsequent books. Bowman communicates with HAL in 2010: Odysey 2 (Filmed as 2010: The Year We Make Contact).

4

To clarify / expand on the good answer of Chenmunka, Bowman, as the Star Child is no longer a physical entity. From the book:

He still needed, for a little while, this shell of matter as the focus of his powers. His indestructible body was his mind's present image of itself; and for all his powers, he knew that he was still a baby. So he would remain until he had decided on a new form, or had passed beyond the necessities of matter. He was back, precisely where he wished to be, in the space that men called real......confident once more, like a high diver who had regained his nerve, he launched himself across the light-years......there before him, a glittering toy no Star-Child could resist, floated the planet Earth with all its peoples.

So - yes, the imagery of the Star Child in the film is representative of Bowman's rebirth as a higher life form at the hands of the monolith.

FWIW - in my opinion, the book makes clearer much of the imagery of the film and I grew to appreciate the film even more after reading the companion text from Clarke.

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